How to Follow someone on Twitter without them knowing

How to Follow someone on Twitter without them knowing

I got asked the other day.. “How do I follow someone on Twitter without them knowing” The answer is very simple. If you simply followed them, then they will get a notification from Twitter of a new follower – You… So the answer lies in Lists. You create a list and add people that you don’t want to know that you are following them. These could be work colleagues, competitors, employees, your kids, anyone that it would be awkward if they knew you were following them.

But.. You must make the list Private at the very beginning. You get two options when you set up a list.. After you have created the name and given a description, you then have the option to make the list public or private. Make it private and no one will know you have created the list and added them to this list. You can then follow them. You won’t get their tweets in your stream, as you are technically following a list.. so you need to create a column in Hootsuite or Tweetdeck and add the stream of that list or view the list from your Twitter profile… and bingo, all the tweets of people in that list will appear….



Twitter help and support via WhatsApp – Join #Twitter250

Twitter help and support via WhatsApp – Join #Twitter250

In the spirit of giving, I am looking for 250 people that are on Twitter and have WhatsApp installed on their mobile phones. I am offering those VIP people #Twitter250 – My New Twitter help and support idea…

I will be sending messages via WhatsApp to those 250 giving top Twitter advice, Twitter tips, new Twitter ideas and tools, Twitter inspiration and tips on how to get more business via Twitter…

Places are going fast. I launched this idea a few hours ago and already 31 places have been taken. There is a max of 250 places available.. So you will need to act fast…

You need to contact me via my Contact form and give me your mobile number.. I will then email you back with mine.. We will need to have each others mobile numbers on our phones.. You will also need to be on WhatsApp



Is your customer care from the heart?

I recently went to Dubai on holiday. I stayed at the Sofitel on the Palm aka Whilst there, we visited the tallest tower in the world – The Burj Khalifa aka   we wanted to a) go into and up this amazing building and see the views and b) have dinner in the restaurant called Atmosphere which is on the 124th Floor.

The reason for this blog post is that we did visit the Burj Khalifa and have dinner in their restaurant. It is fair to say that the views were spectacular – and that’s it.. The food was average at best, incredibly expensive and the service whilst professional was to me totally unbelievable and insincere.

We stayed as I have said at the Sofitel on the Palm, yes it is a 5* hotel but even so, the level of care and attention was amazing, but what was more amazing was that I really believed that each and every one of their staff actually meant it. They actually said it and did it from the heart.

The staff at the Burj Khalifa whilst saying all the right things but it felt that that they were doing so as they have been told they had to say that, and did not really believe what they were saying and it felt that they were also saying that to sell more drinks / food etc…

The Sofitel was cheaper than the Burj Khalifa for dinner, so its not always the case that the more you spend the better the experience. Perhaps this also comes down to how the staff are treated.. I don’t know. But what I do know is that if the staff feel that every day their job is on the line then yes.. their attitude towards their customers would be very different to staff that were happy and content with their work. I think it comes down to the culture within the business.

I doubt the Burj Khalifa get many repeat customers.. Yes.. the view was amazing, but the food and the service was average at best… In fact, take away the view and there is little else there to attract customers to eat there. On the other hand, The various restaurants at the Sofitel are busy all the time with repeat visitors.. Why? because not only is the food excellent but the service and experience are awesome and totally believable and from the heart.

My lessons from Social Media

I wanted to write a blog post about my lessons from social media over the last few weeks. Over the last few weeks, I have started a Facebook Page, Instagram account and a Vine Account. I started them, as I wanted to understand them all more, I wanted to use them and see what it actually takes to use them properly. I wanted to read every piece of advice, tips, ideas, from others on what has worked for them and so on, and then be in a position as I tried it or thought it through to see if it would work for me.

My first conclusion is that to do social media well takes a lot of effort. Therefore to be present on a number of different channels and do them all well is nigh on impossible unless you have an unlimited budget, people and resources. I can already hear you saying.. I am everywhere and it works for me? Does it? Really? What I have come across is in the main are people pumping out tons and tons of content. quotes, quotes as images, viral photos, viral photos with quotes, and all manner of questions. I even tried it myself. The question is why is everyone dong this?

I got to understand that although people may like a Facebook page, they do not get to see many of the posts from that page. Its all to do with the Facebook algorithm which I can hardly spell.. Bottom line is that it is getting harder and harder to get people on Facebook to see your posts. I would presume part of that is so that people utilise the paid for advertising and boost this post features. So, with that in mind, it is very very difficult to grow a community, to get people to reply or like or engage with you or your content. Hence why people are pumping out tons of it.

But to be able to pump out tons of fresh new content, needs someone practically on it full time, preparing the posts, adding the images, making it awesome and so on. I accept that it works for many, but for it to work for you, it is going to need some real effort, I was replying to people during the day in the evenings and so on. I am not against effort, far from it, in fact I always tell people that which ever social media platform you are on will take effort, but its the amount I am drawing into question.

I am in a privileged situation, I choose not to work too hard, I love the Twitter work that I do, infact I love it so much that I don’t even consider it work. But even I was shocked at how hard and challenging Facebook was. Now, I  know that you can automate your whole life, set up services to just pump out all this content day and night. But to me, that is not social media, that is auto media and not what I have signed up for.

I have also got an Instagram Account and so far I am loving it. Why? because its photo based, because I love sharing social stuff with some Twitter tips thrown into the mix and above all, by adding #hashtags, your photos can be seen across the globe. I can totally see that although to me all platforms are social, Instagram can help in gaining new clients or business particularly if your products are very visual. So, although its early days, Instagram works for me. And that is what is important, find what works for you by actually using them, learning about them and seeing for yourself. Each platform is totally different in terms of time and resources needed etc…

I love Twitter, I don’t automate anything, I reply to everyone and I love it. The bottom line is it works for me. Its quick and easy to do. But that’s me. I would encourage everyone of you to really think about your time and resources when starting out or doing social media. Pick a platform based on your time, resources and objectives whatever they may be. Its better to dominate one platform than to try and  dilute yourself to be everywhere.

My plan therefore is to wind up my Facebook page, as for me its too much work, and focus my efforts on Twitter which has served me very well for over 6+ yrs and Instagram which so far is going well.

Follow me on Instagram for some cool piccies:

I joined Instagram & so far its awesome

I joined Instagram & so far its awesome

Well, I am approx 5 yrs late to the Instagram party but now I am pleased to say I have an account: The question is why did I join and why do I think its awesome.

I joined Instagram for 2 main reasons. Firstly, I have been a Blackberry user for ever, but decided a year or so ago to leave them and get an iPhone. I wanted a phone that embraced the App culture that clearly we have, and sadly Blackberry have lost their way. The second reason is that chatting to my buddy Ehsan aka @eksays he suggested that I needed to get on Instagram. So… Bingo I signed up…

To join is dead easy… download the App, add a photo, bio, web url and your good to go.

Now its time to post some piccies. So what piccies should you post? I decided to post pictures of what makes me tick, Photos of things that I find awesome and amazing. I also decided to mix that with photos of Twitter tips, ideas and quotes.

I know its fairly early days but I am having a blast. One of the main benefits of using Instagram is that you can add hashtags to each picture. This then allows the picture to be found by anyone searching that term. So, you get people commenting and liking your picture from all over the globe.

I decided that I would not post the pictures to my Twitter page. I believe that each platform is the destination so for the time being will keep my Instagram separate from my other social media activities. I can already see that it is a fun, social and a visual place ideal for so many businesses. It also can be done very quickly as its photo based. If your business sells products that are visual, then Instagram may well be for you.

But, I don’t sell visually appealing things, but I am trying the idea that posting pictures of Twitter quotes,tips and ideas and thoughts amongst other photos of awesome and amazing things that this may encourage a few to head over to my blog site for more info on me.. We shall wait and see…

Follow me on Instagram:

3 Simple steps to wow your customers

3 Simple steps to wow your customers using Twitter

The customer care bar in the UK is about as low as you can get. In my opinion most businesses work on the ‘what is the minimum amount of customer care we can get away with’ approach. This really is the lowest level of customer care they can do to avoid customer issues. To me, this is really sad but it also represents a huge opportunity for those businesses that want to go the extra mile and create ‘wow’ moments for their customers.

Why create ‘wow’ moments for your customers? That’s easy, because you want to create an army of advocates. You want to create a huge team of people that promote your services via social media and in particular Twitter to their followers. Done well, ‘wow moments can create huge amounts of free publicity for your product and service and above all really don’t need to cost very much at all.  Lets go through the 3 steps…

Step 1. Listening and recognising the opportunity.

The first part is to actually listen to people on Twitter that are talking about you or your service. In the tweet above, I tweeted that I was heading to The Vanbrugh House Hotel in Oxford. I checked their Twitter account out and sadly their last tweet was in Feb 2014. You need to set up searches on your product or service using the actual names and not just the Twitter usernames. In this way, you will then get to see the Tweets and more importantly have the opportunity to reply and also to check them out by looking at their Twitter bio.

Step 2 Identifying the ‘wow’ thing..

Imagine for a moment that Vanbrugh House Hotel were active on Twitter and then imagine they had seen my Tweet. Firstly they could have simply replied to me saying they would be pleased to see me later that day.. but that is not a ‘wow’ that’s just polite and good manners. What turns this opportunity into a ‘wow’ moment is taking a look at my twitter stream and / or my Twitter Bio.

What are my passions? What do I seem to be Tweeting about a lot? What’s in my bio, any things there that I am hugely passionate or crazy about? In my case a simple look at my Twitter bio would have shown them, that I am a huge fan of Latte’s and almond croissants…

Step 3 Deliver the ‘wow’ moment

To create that ‘wow’ moment for me, in my room you could have put a latte and an almond croissant. Cost to the hotel would have been pence. Impression on me would have been super massive and would have created a ‘wow’ moment for me. What would I have then done? Simple.. Tweeted a photo and raved about what they had done.

To create ‘wow’ moments for your clients or customers is dead easy and does not need to cost very much at all. You just need to want to do it and then utilise Twitter and to make sure that you listen and learn as much as you can about your customers and clients. You can also when people are booking ask for their Twitter username so that you can begin to look at their stuff much earlier to possibly uncover things about them well before they use your product or service.

How to make Your Twitter Acc not look Abandoned

How to make Your Twitter Acc not look Abandoned

One of the most important things you can do on Twitter is to secure your Twitter username as once someone has taken it, it is gone and there is nothing you can do about it. Once you have secured your Twitter username  you may then want to spend some time planning how you are going to utilise Twitter. How can you do this without it looking like you have abandoned your Account?

Simply, go to your Twitter account, then click on the cog, then settings, then security & privacy tab, then half way down you will see  ‘Tweet Privacy – Protect My Tweets’ box.

Simply tick  this box. By doing so, Your Twitter account will not be visible to the outside world and no one will be able to follow it without you approving them. I would also suggest that in the Bio you actually write that you are planning what you are about to do and will launch the account very soon.

By doing this, you have secured your Twitter username and it will not appear as though you have abandoned or neglected your account. Remember though to untick the ‘protect my tweets’ box once you want to officially launch your account unless of course you want it to remain a private & by approval account only.

5 top Twitter headlines to get you more website traffic

5 Top Twitter headlines to get you more website traffic

When you start to get going on Twitter, you will want to share resources, information, knowledge, advice, links, and to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. You may well want do this by writing blogs, having eBooks and factsheets, and other pieces of useful information on your website / blogsite.

So how do you get people on Twitter to click through and find that information?  It is all in the headlines……

The other benefit of writing great headlines, is that it will increase your chances of having your updates retweeted by your network.

The examples I am giving, are all ones that I have used, but remember that you cant keep using the same headlines. You need to change, mix it up, try new ideas, new times when you post, and so on..

Oh and always track the click throughs so that you have an idea on what volume of people have clicked through.

The Straight Forward Headline – This is a no nonsense approach. There is no trying to be clever with this headline. It is a short, sweet and goes directly to the ‘what it is’ and the ‘where you need to find it’ – A good example would be…

Sign up to my Top Twitter Tips Newsletter: –>> Link to web url

The Lists Headline – Everyone likes to read a good list. This is simply where you have written a blog or eBook or fact sheet, that has a numbered list of top tips. The headline would read something like…

5 Top Twitter Headlines to get you more Traffic: –>> Link to web url

Breaking News Headline – This where you may be launching something new, have rebranded, reinvented something, have come across a news worthy story, all these are excellent reasons to send updates to your followers. The headline may read….

Breaking News: Google is Broken: –>> Link to web url

The How To Headline – This is probably one of the most popular and best ways to get people to click through onto your content. People are always wanting to know ‘how to’ do something or another. The Headline may read…

How to send a photo on Twitter: –>> Link to Web url

The Find out Headline – This is where you have written a post, an eBook, a fact sheet, or are directing someone to a resource, where you are inviting them to ‘find out’ what that something is all about. The headline may read something like this..

Find out what #Hashtags are all about & join the fun:–>> Link to web url

The objective with all of your tweets, is to get people to click the link. Many people make the mistake of trying to explain in far too much detail what the link is all about.. Its what I call the kitchen sink marketing approach. That is not what Twitter is all about.

Equally, having headlines which tell people nothing.. i.e. Click here to make money, usually result in small amounts of people clicking through. People simply don’t have the time or the desire to have to figure it out..

Twitter and Customer care – Common mistakes to avoid

Twitter and Customer care – Common mistakes to avoid

As many of you will be aware, I am always on the look out for case studies which highlight both excellent use of Twitter and the not so excellent use of Twitter. In today’s example I am focussing on Tommy Hilfiger aka @tommyhilfiger and @SupportatTommy

It all started on July 30th with my tweet to @TommyHilfiger. I got a reply from their @SupportAtTommy a day later.

I then contacted @SupportAtTommy via direct message with my personal email and phone number so that they could contact me.

What happened next is the issue for me.

I got via direct message from @SupportAtTommy, that they have passed my details onto UK Customer care and they will be in touch.

I waited a day, and nothing, so I direct messaged @SupportAtTommy and they told me, that I needed to be patient as UK Customer care were very busy, they also apologised a lot.

It is now August 4th and still nothing, that is 6 days since my original tweet to them. 

This tells me a few things and is something I wanted to highlight to others.

It tells me that the @SupportAtTommy does not do much other than apologise and pass the info on. This really is not very good and has not been thought through very well. The whole point of me going to the @SupportAtTommy Twitter  account is to get a speedy resolution to my issue.

My issue is very simple.. I have bought a ton of clothes from Tommy Hilfiger, I have 2 woollen zipper tops. On one of them, the leather pulley that you use to pull the zipper up and down has fallen off and I cant use the zipper. An issue for me, but hardly something that @SupportAtTommy should need to go to seek others, or senior management to help resolve.

If you are using Twitter as a customer care channel, then it is vital that this channel has a mandate for things they can just get on with. They must have clear guidelines for what  they can deal with and when it needs escalating up the chain of command. They should also have time frames for the delivery of the resolution. Clearly 6 days is way way too long to wait for this. 

Twitter offers brands and businesses an excellent way to deal with customers via a dedicated customer care or support channel. But if it is not manned correctly, does not have the required training, guidance, guidelines or support, then the end result will be very poor,which is exactly the customer care response I have had.

Sports stars and Twitter… Why should they bother…

Sports stars and Twitter… Why should they bother?

The very quick answer to Sports stars and twitter – should they be on Twitter is a massive Yes… Footballers, cricketers, golfers, tennis players, F1 drivers, rugby players, and all the other sports stars should be on Twitter for a variety of reasons. In essence Twitter is all about P2P… That is person to person.. It allows the sports star to ‘get closer’ to his or her army of fans. That does not mean revealing everything including the kitchen sink, but simply sharing ‘behind the scenes’ things that fans simply would not have access to.

Fans at the end of the day pay the sports star wages, so giving them more personal access will over time pay dividends. Remember most sporting personalities retire from formal competition in their late 30’s… then what? what do they do then? Well if they have been spending time growing a loyal and solid following say on Twitter then when they retire and launch their training academy, or dvd series, or other products they will have a large market place for it already established.

But there are other reasons for them to have a presence on Twitter. Part of the income received by sports stars is received from Brands and businesses that want them to endorse their services or products. So as the the star builds up a bigger and bigger following, so the fee negotiated by the brand or business to them will go up as they are more appealing, more attractive as they have a larger and more engaged audience.

By the same token though a sports star who gets it wrong on Twitter can have be fined by their clubs etc… lose sponsors which can cost them a huge amount of money. So I have always maintained that sports stars need guidelines, guidance, training and support. Its not about setting up a Twitter account, that take 2 mins. Its about what to say, what not to say, and for a sports star what Twitter strategies to employ to maximise their efforts and potential rewards.

Twitter is a unique tool for sports stars as it allows a 2 way dialogue with fans. All other forms of media is typically 1 way – broadcasting. So with Twitter sports stars can actually ask questions, answer questions, give behind the scenes photos and views of things, share their likes / dislikes and so much more. All of this done with accepted and clear guidelines on what also they should not be sharing and talking about.